Polish School of Animation Project: Bringing Old and New Polish Animation Directors In Dialogue

3 geNarracje by Paulina Ziolkowska film still

Wiola Sowa, Anita Kwiatkowska Naqvi, Marta Pajek, Karolina Specht, Weronika Szyma, Paulina Ziółkowska. Acclaimed Polish animation artists' names in their own right, yet it's time to see their efforts together as a part of a single trend and force from the budding, new Polish animation scene.

The project 'Polish School of Animation:Male Eye, Female Heart' currently screening at Animest Festival (13 October) and in 36 countries overall, aims to popularize Polish animation around the world, illustrating various trends, developments and changes taking place in this field over the last 70 years.

Although the Polish School of Animation was born only after 1945, next to the films of the Polish School, the Grotowski Theater and the Polish School of Posters, animated cinema was for decades one of the most important showcases of Polish culture abroad.

Young and acclaimed authors co-exists with cornerstones of Polish Animation in this multi-layered programme, including film by poets and satirists of the image, master puppeteers and cut-out virtuosos, painters, cartoonists: Walerian Borowczyk, Zbigniew Rybczyński, Jan Lenica, Mirosław Kijowicz, Daniel Szczechura, Ryszard Czekała, Julian Antonisz or Jerzy Kucia.

In addition, it presents the most interesting achievements of the generation that came to prominence in later years, continuing, often polemically, the work of Polish masters. Here you have films by Mariusz Wilczyński, Marek Skrobecki, Tomasz Siwiński, Tomek Ducki, Wojciech Sobczyk.

But gender roles have definitely changed for the better in recent year -including the Polish animation and its creators. The project aims to show exactly this, the huge difference that currently prevails in the animation industry compared to the last century, where men dominated.

It emphasizes the huge role of women in the world of animation and the colossal difference in subject matter and gender proportions since the times of the People's Republic of Poland. Currently, it is mainly women artists, including: Wiola Sowa, Anita Kwiatkowska Naqvi, Marta Pajek, Karolina Specht, Weronika Szyma, Paulina Ziółkowska, who create the recipient's sensitivity to the world. In their films, there are completely different topics strongly related to women's lives, the female body, as well as physiological and physical changes that occur in it during life (e.g. puberty, sexual experiences, pregnancy, aging).

To Thy Heart, Ewa Borysewicz 

Pussy, Renata Gasiorowska

Lushfulness, Weronika Szyma

The contemporary wave of films made by women, after years of male dominance in the industry, has brought a pleasant breath of fresh air to Polish animation.

Upcoming screenings include participations in Animest Festival (Bucharest, 13 October) and PÖFF Shorts (Tallinn, 7-15 November 2023). The 'Polish School of Animation' project has been presented in Germany, China, Japan, Bulgaria, Portugal, Brazil, Mexico, Finland, Bosnia and Herzegovina, USA, Korea, Sweden and Ukraine.

The project is organized by Ioga, Fundacja Promocji Kultury Artystycznej, Filmowej i Audiowizualnej Etiuda&Anima (International Film Festival Etiuda&Anima). It is co-financed by the Minister of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland from the Culture Promotion Fund and by the Polish Film Institute.

(cover image: 3 geNarracje by Paulina Ziolkowska)

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